Dec. 30—Have you ever owned a tattered or faded American flag that needed to be respectfully retired — but you didn't know where to take it?
Standard Middle School eighth-grader Emma Ehret, a member of Girl Scout Troop 2815, has devised a solution.
As part of her Girl Scouts Silver Award Project, Emma raised $3,309 in donations to buy two flag drop-off boxes where worn and tattered American flags can be dropped off for proper disposal.
"I'm a Girl Scout and my brother is a Boy Scout, and multiple people have asked us to help them retire their old flags," the 13-year-old told The Californian.
"I realized there are no places in town where you can take a flag after hours," she said.
After doing some research about how she might help area residents properly dispose of their flags, Emma began raising money to purchase two sturdy drop-boxes — safe, convenient locations where people could drop off their aging flags for later pickup and disposal.
Emma placed one box at VFW Post 97, 5350 S. Union Ave. The second box is expected to be installed Friday at the American Legion, 130 Goodman St. in east Bakersfield.
VFW Post 97 and the American Legion, both patriotic organizations with years of experience in flag etiquette and retirement, will provide proper disposal for the American flags, which is why the drop-off boxes are being placed at these locations, Emma said.
She wants her community to know about the boxes so people understand that they have two new secure locations — available any time of the day — to drop off flags that need to be retired.
"I see some flags that really need to be properly retired," Emma said.
Emma's mom, Crystal Ehret, said she is is thrilled to see her daughter applying her energy and effort to such a worthwhile community project.
"I think she's amazing," said Mrs. Ehret. "her dad and I are really proud of her.
"We can't wait to see what she does in the future."
Reporter Steven Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter: @semayerTBC.